We’ve talked about keyword research, search engine optimization, article marketing, and all that other good stuff. Now it’s time to bring it all together with a quick-and-easy SEO tip that’ll help you see the light.

First off, check through my archives (top right corner of this page) for posts on keyword research and article marketing. You’ll need to know about that stuff before we can continue … You’re back? Oh, you never left. Well, that’s okay. Go through the archives later, or research those topics somewhere else if you’d like.

Okay, so “keyword density” is just what it sounds like: it refers to the density of targeted keywords in your web page content, and it’s something you need to pay attention to if you want to start optimizing your pages.

On average, you want a keyword density of 3-5%, meaning three to five out of one hundred words in the content on your page should be your main keyword. Any more than that and the search engines might think you’re spamming, but any less and they might not think your site is relevant. Three to five is generally a good percentage, so shoot for that.

I myself tend to veer away from the recommended keyword density. (On this site for example, I think it’s around 1% on average.) I simply can’t accept the trade-off of having to structure my writing around repeating a word or phrase. It takes the fun out, and my writing would sound stilted. (After all, I do most of my Internet marketing purely for the science of it — I could make a lot more money if I weren’t so bent on being ethical, but I genuinely just enjoy learning and sharing.) If you enjoy writing or blogging, I don’t recommend spamming up your posts or articles with keywords just to have them there. Write naturally and conversationally, and if your topic is specific enough, you’ll probably find that your keyword density is about right. (If you want to check, though, you can always go to http://www.live-keyword-analysis.com/.)

One good method for ensuring a proper keyword density, however, has nothing to do with going through and inserting keywords into your articles. Actually, you’re going to be taking things out. (This is something I seem to struggle with, so do as I say, not as I do.) Yes, I’m talking about brevity. Be pithy, succinct, concise — i.e., don’t say more if you can say less. A general rule of thumb (and this is a writing tip, not an SEO tip) is to keep your sentences under 17 words. If you notice some sentences going on for much longer than that, re-read them and see if you can cut any words out without changing the meaning.

For example, we could do that with the sentence I just wrote:

“If some sentences are too long, go back and cut out unnecessary words.”

Short, punchy sentences make people feel as if they’re reading faster. The upshot from an SEO standpoint is obvious: fewer useless adjectives, prepositions, and adverbs means a lower word count, and you certainly aren’t cutting any of your keywords, so your keyword density goes up! (Don’t go overboard, though. You can be too concise, which will just make your writing incomprehensible. Always strive to convey a certain meaning in as few words as possible. If too few words aren’t capable of conveying your exact meaning, clarify.)

Typical words and phrases that can usually be cut from any sentence:

  • totally
  • actually
  • completely
  • very
  • extremely
  • as it were
  • basically
  • essentially
  • thus
  • at this point in time

And so on. Use this tactic in your articles and blog posts. If you’ve got a good handle on the other basic SEO tricks, you should be seeing a good turnaround.

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